The first thing you need to know when it comes for your Russian or Ukrainian bride is this; She is not the only one who need to adjust. You and she will both need to adjust. It's not just her. Sure she will need to learn the language and adapt to her new surroundings but when it comes to making your relationship good you will need to learn how to adjust to her.
Guys I can tell you it's a two way street so make sure you look at from the perspective but it takes two to make the adjustment. She will need your understanding and assurance that you are going to adjust to her to. You will provide the home but she will make the home. She needs to know that you will let her make the home a Russian/American home. You to not isolate her and have an open mind that you will be learning about her and from her also. Especially if children are involved.
She will be scared and the children will be also. There will be allot of stress and allot of tension. But if you keep an open mind and you are willing to adjust to her or them also. You will have a wonderful life together.
This is just the benefit of my experience. I have seen Russian/American relationships fall apart because the guys expected that she will have to adjust to him and she will have to become an American. (It never works out well like this) If you go in with the attitude that it will be a two way street, she will notice this and will be more willing to merry you knowing you are thinking of her needs to. She is giving up all she knows to come to you. Family, Friends, Her pets, Her life as she knows it.
I agree with everything you said. I'd like to highlight two of your comments:
(a) Russian girls are not coming here with their minds empty of experiences. They're bringing their background and the lifestyle they are used to and we need to respect this.
(b) In order to come to this country, these girls are leaving their whole world behind and we need to create together with them a new world, show them our love and support and allow all necessary time to make the adjustment.
I have great appreciation in the abilities of the Russian woman and I can confirm based on personal experience that when a Russian woman feels loved and respected, she can give her heart, mind and soul to her man. It's probably due to the way they grow up within their families, the advice they get from their mothers during their childhood, the harsh environment within which they are raised. They also appreciate attentive men who express their affection because this type of man is scarce in their country. I recall watching with my fiancee a commercial on Ukrainian TV. There was this overweight, unshaved guy sitting on the couch all day and his gorgeous, well shaped, perfectly groomed wife was cooking and caring for him and even feeding him! I asked Yulia what the commercial was about ... she said: "this is the typical Ukrainian man".
It's not fair to say that all Russian men suck, but overall I think American men are much, much better suited for marriage and family than Russian men. We generally respect women and don't view them as maids and mistresses. However, most Americans lack cross-cultural experiences and many haven't even crossed the borders of this country (not to mention the borders of their state). As a result, many of our fellow citizens think of this country as the best place in the world and it may be so for us, but it may not be so for others. It may take time for a Russian woman to adjust to this lifestyle and indeed she may never adjust. As you pointed, when marriages fall apart, it is mainly due to the inability of American men to make the necessary compromises on lifestyle that will make their Russian companion feel closer to home, which for them, let's face it, will always be Russia.
Just a short note. There is an interesting book I read on this issue. Not that I highly recommend it( I cant say that I agree with all facts described there)but it has VERY interesting chapters describing cultural differences of Russian and American spouses. It covers all sides of life-culture, house keeping, raising children, communication, attitude to sex and so on. Here is this book:
Lynn Visson "Wedded Strangers: The Challenges of Russian-American Marriages".
Remember that for Russian women, it is the little things that mean more to them than anything else. Do not try to impress her...that isn't what she looks for...
You never know what will touch their heart...be prepared to be surprised by how little they really ask of you...be tender, be loving, be open to their needs and desires.
I tend to agree with codered. I don't find that tenderness and affection is what all women want (all women?). Many women here (many, not all women) set goals for themselves that are not centered on a loving man and a happy family. Goals are rather based on personal achievement, individual independence, and competitiveness inside and outside the family circle. On the other hand, I am convinced that many Russian women (many, not all women) set the exact opposite goals for themselves.
wtrav02, You paint a scary picture of women in America.....to an extent some Australian women are that way too, but not so extreme. I had an Australian friend who was living with a lady in Texas. He said he felt that he was an essential social decoration for the lady in his life.....he had to be shown off at socials and reprimanded if he did not say the right thing at parties, but she did not take him seriously. She took the perceived threat of other women very seriously....and it was not long before the other women were trying to undermine her to him......all this led him to break up with her and come back to Australia, but I think what Olga says right ......women need (as we do) someone who is "loving open to our needs and desires".....women who lose sight of this cannot really be happy in any relationship, even if they "win" their competition, they must surely end up miserable!
The following are taken from profiles on average of what the woman say they want: Good, decent, reliable, honored, faithfull man with feeling of humour, without passion to alcohol, which lookong for the girl for making the family and wants to have children. willing to create happy family.I respect the man, who can conquer the woman's heart not with the words, but with acts. A man able to appreciate woman's tenderness.I hope to meet a man with which that will make me feel happy, I 'll give him all my heart, care and tenderness. I wanthim to be a good and decent person, which respects feelings of other people other. I want to create family based on mutual understanding, respect, the ability to listen one another. (= be tender, be loving, be open to their needs and desires) and what is a relationship? A state of connectedness between people (especially an emotional connection) So without this you have no relationship of any value. wtrav02, did paint a scary picture of women in America. It can be true in overseas woman and in American woman. But the American culture has destroyed these values in many woman. Not to say its not here. However its hard to find. The day of 1 mate for life is hard preesd to find unless your looking at the elder generation. But the fact is you know what you want and you all have your own reasions for looking in another country for it. All one can say is be kind and treat her like a lady and help her to adjust. Adjust with her. Culture shock and Home sickness can get out of control so help her.